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Conifer Plantation Management

Conifer Plantations Module #5 Biodiversity and Wildlife Values

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Conifer Plantation Management

What’s in the Module? Biodiversity defined Importance Typical forest ecosystem Forest succession Your property Your plantation Plantation review Managing for birds Managing for animals

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Conifer Plantation Management

What is Biodiversity? Biodiversity: full variety of life in an area

Species diversity: number and relative abundance

Genetic diversity: genetic variation

Ecosystem diversity: variety

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Conifer Plantation Management

Diversity is Important current extinction rates far exceed rates documented in geologic records manage for generalist organisms at the expense of habitat specialists Preserving single species has dominated More attention to whole ecosystems Diverse ecosystems better able to withstand stress and disturbance

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Conifer Plantation Management

Generalists and Specialists Generalists in a variety of ecosystems Specialists limited to only a few ecosystems

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Conifer Plantation Management

Forest Ecosystem

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Conifer Plantation Management

Succession Natural process of change pioneer species climax forest

Conifer plantations shorten the time span and provide economic return

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Conifer Plantation Management

Where do you Start? Inventory Identify ecosystems and their relationships Identify options to protect and enhance existing sites with linkages Create a Management Plan

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Conifer Plantation Management

Plantation’s Role on your Property Nurse crop Adds diversity Links degraded and fragmented forest patches Stabilizes eroded areas Protects waterways Meets your needs

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Conifer Plantation Management

Plantations are not stable ecosystems Continuous change from open areas to to to to to

young trees crown closure maintaining vigour regeneration renewal

Continued management as plantation changes site preparation planting early tending thinning for products thinning for regeneration harvesting and conversion

Plantation ecosystem constantly evolving towards the desired natural forest after one rotation

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Conifer Plantation Management

Let’s Look at Wildlife Birds and animals cover food water space

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Conifer Plantation Management

Birds in Your Plantation Species composition changes as the plantation matures Hardwoods critical Species diversity increases with age Without thinning, canopy closed and dramatic reduction in species present

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Conifer Plantation Management

Helping our Feathered Friends Restrict operations from April to July Thin plantations on schedule to promote hardwoods Thin plantations adjacent to hardwood seed sources first Plant mixtures e.g. Pr/Pj

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Conifer Plantation Management

More Help Direct seed or plant hardwoods where no seed source Promote and maintain snags and cavities Minimize edge habitat

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Conifer Plantation Management

Animals in your Plantation Animals tend to use edge Cover from the elements Cover from predators A limited source of food Older plantations provide opportunities for homes

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Conifer Plantation Management

Helping the Animals Preserve den trees Conifers to link woodlots Conifers as shelter Openings Retain hardwood patches Plant roads, trails, landings

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Conifer Plantation Management

Other Ideas on Wildlife Ecosystem diversity Recreation viewing hunting

Eco-Tourism part of a variety of ecosystems part of a farm complex 5-17

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Conifer Plantation Management

Your Plantation — Summary Managing your plantation for biodiversity When to operate Watch that edge Where are the hardwoods? Linkages Species mix Thin, thin, thin Don’t forget the overall objectives!

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Conifer Plantation Management

Conifer Plantation Management Workshops Have been funded by: Ministry of Natural Resources and

Eastern Ontario Model Forest through

The Stewardship Program Prepared by Bill Hardy, Hardy Consulting Layout and design by the LandOwner Resource Centre

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